Prophecy Sun recorded Sleep Fever in her living room, sampling her voice and clips of a fetal heartbeat taken from her belly. All songs were captured live over the span of three days, while she meditated over sounds, never left the house, ate everything in sight and slept zombie-like between recordings. The compositions focus on the voice as a symbol of the unconscious, capturing the immediacy of emotive textures and sounds that live inside her head. Her rhythms are of scattered daydreams, primal outpourings and apocalyptic visions.
All tracks have been processed by Kristen Roos to boost, brighten, and enhance the stereo image, while retaining the lo-fi quality of the original recordings.
Video for "Follow Me": http://vimeo.com/61781006
Video for "Give Me": http://vimeo.com/61833201
April 27, 2013
review from The Georgia Straight, Disquiet, 6 Days From Tomorrow, Oddio Overplay, and Quart
Ambient sound collagist prOphecy sun’s 2012 set Bird Curious featured a song she recorded as she rode her bike through the city, but her latest album Sleep Fever is leery of sudden movements. While featuring the same kinds of airy aural patchworks as her older LPs, sun’s fourth full-length in as many years is cloaked in claustrophobic paranoia. “Trapped” seems to be the most obvious argument for this, being strung together with corrosively eerie schoolyard chants about being buried underground. Trust issues also abound, as opener “Fall Down” has low-key but cautionary vocal loops insisting we not take a tumble, for “who will pick you up?” The 20-minute set features a few tender reprieves like “Follow Me”, whose soprano layering channels Léo Delibes’s gorgeous “Flower Duet” from Lakmé as much as it does contemporary vocal manipulator Julianna Barwick, but otherwise this is sun at her most distressed. Hell, “Killing Game” might unfurl in angel-hair wisps but it commands the extinction of “anything that moves”.
The recording process behind Sleep Fever had sun laying down tracks in one take while completely cocooned indoors for a three-day stretch, suggesting Cabin Fever could act as an alternate title for this satisfyingly challenging and nightmarish collection from the increasingly prolific performer.
The cognitive dissonance in some of Prophecy Sun’s music can be significant. In the song “Killing Game,” for example, a discernible lyric communicates words along the lines of the title — does it go “kill and make havoc”? — words that for all their formidable threat still have a gentle, lulling aura. This aura is because Prophecy Sun layers her voice, amid blankets of sonic haze, with such a phalanx of echoes that it can be difficult to locate where the starting point of a given digital roundelay. In other words, this dissonance is not in error; it’s intentional. The haunting is like that of a rough dream or a hallucinatory reality, and the effect can bleed from one track to the next. The song that follows “Killing Game” on Sleep Fever, her album on the No Type netlabel, is “Give Me,” which while no less pleading, can be mistaken as threatening, because the phrase “give me” can sound a lot like “killing,” especially in circumstances such as these. Particularly recommended is the opening track, “Follow Me,” in large part because the soft consonants in the words allow them to be all the more lost in the processing.
Art. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s one of those things that I really like, and can’t do for the life of me. In my head sit innumerable wonderful visions of the real and the unreal, yet somewhere between my head and my hands lies something that turns even the most basic artistic expression into something that would struggle to attain even a “well done for trying” pat on the head. It is therefore both a blessing and a curse that I have so many friends who are effortlessly Good At Art, while I struggle with pasta and glitter. It’s mostly a blessing though.
Vancouver’s prOphecy Sun is far more adept at retrieving the things in her head than I will ever be, and hats off to her for that. Whether as part of Tyranahorse, Spell, or just doing her own thing, her work is unique and captivating, and this new solo (sort of, but we’ll get round to that in a bit) collection is just as intriguing as ever.
Somewhat coincidentally (and slightly weirdly I’ll be the first to admit), I’ve spent the first half of this evening listening to an old record where a bunch of your actual scientists kickstarted electronic music by goofing off on a computer that cost $3million out of its (very big) box in the 1960s. We are of course grateful to these eccentric, pipesmoking, white-coated boffins for their contributions, but it can all get a bit, well, sterile. So it’s a welcome contrast to listen to this new collection of meditations, ruminations and vocalisations, constructed largely from her own voice during a 3-day period of slight otherness spent indoors, where the organic is allowed to flow freely and the technological side is merely something to capture and shape it all.
Much like the previous Bird Curious, Sleep Fever is a spontaneous gathering of vocals, repeated and wrapped around each other in a compelling manner that is both playful and eerie (Killing Game‘s soft repetition of “Kill Everything That Moves” being a particularly disquieting piece), but always carrying a calming presence with each work. And as calm is something that I’m struggling with at the moment, this is ideal stuff – the dreams these songs will induce may well be odd, but they’ll be good.
The weirdest part of Sleep Fever is also the sweetest part, as Fetal Lullaby is just that – prOphecy Sun singing gently over the recorded heartbeat of her recently announced and as yet unborn child, as she’s currently Interdisciplinary Performance Arting for two, and this blog is thrilled to hear that. A genuinely moving thing, and something that is bound to set biological clocks ticking among many listeners, and a sound that brings out the protective spirit in all of us.
Out on April 1st, it’s as enchanting and spellbinding as ever, pop over to No Type + Panospria and envelop yourself in something different and rather lovely.
Haunting, Beautiful Female Acapella Experiment
Inspiring Vancouver performance artist, modern dancer, and musician prOphecy sun released her fourth solo effort this month, Sleep Fever on the impressive Panospria label. The release was recorded at home in a sort of sleep haze associated with her pregnancy. Layers of her echoing voice create a beautiful lullaby very different from her other projects, such as Tyranahorse (hear "Rumble Tumble", for instance).
Letölthető lemez, csak női hangra és magzati szívverésre, valamint sok visszhangra és effektre.
Ne ijesszen meg minket az erősen hippis Prophecy Sun (sőt, prOphecy sun) név, az Őrült Művésznő típusú képek és az önmeghatározás: interdiszciplináris performanszművész. Valójában alanyunk innen letölthető új ep-je, a Sleep Fever mindennek ellenére igenis érdekes, izgalmas alkotás. A húszperces anyagot Prophecy Sun otthonában készítette, saját hangját és a "hasában lévő magzat" szívhangját felhasználva. A háromnapos intenzív alkotási folyamat során el sem hagyta a házát, "mindent megevett, amit csak látott, a felvételek szünetében pedig zombi módjára aludt." A nyolc szám mindegyike Prophecy Sun hangjára épül, ez van többször egymásra rétegezve, visszhangosítva, szétterítve, önmagára visszahajlítva. A magzati szívverést én nem hallottam, inkább finom zúgás veszi körül mindezt. A számok a már majdnem (vagy mégsem? mégis?) dalszerűség és a hangzásra fókuszáló ambient között ingáznak; vagy azt is mondhatjuk, hogy a hallgatóra van bízva, hogy melyiket figyeli inkább. Helyenként a maga éteri módján egészen durva, például a You Won't Find Me dallama egészen úgy hangzik, mint egy ráolvasás - és erre csak ráerősít az, hogy a megszokott fogalmak szerint nyilván nem durva, mert: akkor miért az mégis? Máskor meg kedves, de többször melankolikus. És leginkább: majdnem végig meglehetősen magányos, ami a magzatról szóló információ fényében új, erősebb értelmezést nyerhet.
A kanadai Prophecy Sun ezen kívül rengeteg projektben vesz részt, honlapján lehet erről tájékozódni a Sounds menüpontban. A Tyranahorse alternatív rock; a Spell lassú, sejtelmes elektronika + az itt hallhatónál szabályosabb ének duója; az Under The Sun zajongós improvizáció kettesben; a Her Jazz Noise Collective ugyanez, csak éppen sok nővel; The Adulthood néven pedig egy avant-pop (vagy akármi) duó működik. A honlapon hallható részletek alapján egyik sem annyira izgalmas azért, mint az említett szólólemez, illetve a korábbi másik, amit innen lehet letölteni.